Is Now the Time to Sell NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA) Stock?

CLSA analyst Chris Caso thinks it is time to sell NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) shares. He has just initiated coverage on Nvidia with a sell rating. Caso, who is ranked #336 out of 10,171 experts tracked by TipRanks, is nervous about NVDA’s steep valuation combined with increased 2017 opex investment (operating costs). Let’s see what the rest of the market is saying.

While a sell rating is certainly rare for Nvidia (it’s only the 2nd sell rating in the last 3 months) it’s not surprising that some analysts are cautious that the bull run may have gone too far. We can see that the stock surged over the holiday period to $117.32 on Dec 27 due to robust demand for its gaming graphic processing units (GPUs), data center GPUs, and automotive central processing units (CPUs).

Prices have stayed at these high levels all the way into February- the current share price is $114.38. And if we look at the 1 year picture, we can see how far prices have come- just one year ago, the share price was only $26.18.

The market was shaken back in January when Barclays’ analyst Blayne Curtis reiterated a hold rating for Nvidia with a bearish $90 price target, after a Citron Research report said: “we have long been fans of NVDA, but now the market is disregarding headwinds. In 2017 we will see NVDA head back to $90.” Citron Research sees risks for Nvidia that include data center competition, gross margin sustainability and increased competition from custom silicon and GPU workarounds.

However, it’s worth remembering that there are still many analysts who are confident that Nvidia can live up to the hype. For example, top UBS analyst Stephen Chin met with Nvidia management recently and reiterated his buy rating for Nvidia with a $120 price target. Chin is confident about the prospects of data center chip sales for machine learning. He also believes that chip sales into the autonomous car market have serious growth potential over the next few years and that sales in VR/AR will improve significantly.

The average analyst price target on TipRanks is $110.90, a -5.13% downside from the current share price, while the analyst consensus recommendation is ‘moderate buy’ (based on analyst recommendations made in the last 3 months).  

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